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McPherson College encourages hs entrepreneurs with prizes, scholarships

McPherson College is putting its money where its heart is for Kansas high school students – in encouraging the development of world-changing entrepreneurs from the Heartland.

The college has announced its first-ever Jump Start Kansas competition. The challenge will award two grand-prize grants of $5,000 to a Kansas high school student or team of students who present the best entrepreneurial idea – one in the area of commercial entrepreneurship and one for social entrepreneurship. What’s more, the grants come with no stipulation that the high school students attend McPherson College. Students can enter with their ideas between now and Jan. 25.

High School students

McPherson College is putting its money where its heart is for Kansas high school students – in encouraging the development of world-changing entrepreneurs from the Heartland.

“Of course, we expect that after they visit McPherson College, these future leaders will seriously consider us for their education,” said Kori Gregg, executive director of entrepreneurship at McPherson College. “But what we care more about is helping and encouraging these young entrepreneurs in Kansas to take a risk and follow their dream – to recapture that thrilling moment of jumping out of swings and seeing where you land.”

The college is putting more than $10,000 in grant money on the line to encourage entrepreneurship. In addition, the grand prize winners will receive a $20,000, four-year scholarship to McPherson College. Finally, every student named as one of the 10 finalists – even those as part of a team – will be given a $4,000, four-year scholarship to attend McPherson College. All told, the total dollar commitment for the challenge exceeds $100,000.

“The commitment is well worth it,” Gregg said. “To develop the kind of leaders who are going to grow up and make a difference, they have to develop the creative entrepreneur’s mindset – the kind of mindset developed right here at McPherson College.”

Students will have until Jan. 25 to submit their application at http://blogs.mcpherson.edu/entrepreneurship/jump-start-kansas. The applications will be judged by an independent panel of entrepreneurs, community members and McPherson College faculty.

The 10 finalists (five in the commercial and five in the non-profit categories) will be notified of their selection Feb. 1. The finalists will be required to travel to the McPherson College campus to present their ideas Feb. 15. The two grand prize winners will be announced the same day.

The challenge is part of the college’s “Freedom to Jump” entrepreneurship initiative, which officially launched Nov. 11. As the program developed during the last year, McPherson College gave micro-grants of up to $500 to one out of every 10 students enrolled at McPherson College through the Horizon Fund.

Last year the college challenged students to come up with a sustainable solution to help those in Haiti in just 10 days. One winning team received scholarships and the opportunity to travel to Haiti and working on putting their ideas into effect. Also, this fall the college has offered a minor in “Transformative Entrepreneurship” for the first time, allowing students to make entrepreneurship a part of their degree, regardless of their major area of study.

Short URL: http://www.jeffcountynews.com/?p=10929

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